Archives for December 2011

Charge! The Montana Supreme Court takes on Citizens United

The Montana Supreme Court on December 30 launched a headlong frontal assault on the U.S. Supreme Court’s opinion in Citizens United v. FEC. We predict that the U.S. Supreme Court will make quick work of this frivolous and misguided opinion.

Filed Under: Blog, Completed Case, Litigation Blog/Press Releases, Western Tradition Partnership v. Bullock Other Links, Montana

Larry Ribstein passes

We at the Center were, like many, many others with connections to the legal academy, saddened to learn of the death of University of Illinois law professor Larry Ribstein on December 23. There is little we can add to the various condolences and remembrances by people who knew him better, many of which are collected here and here.

Professor Ribstein was a corporate legal scholar, not a campaign finance or election scholar, but his work is very important in understanding corporate rights to free speech, a subject much in the news since Citizens United v. FEC was decided nearly two years ago.

Filed Under: Blog

In the News: Colorado Springs Gazette: Effort to reform campaign finance should be applauded

Effort to reform campaign finance should be applauded By Bradley A. Smith There are certain things most people think they know about politics. One of those is that campaign finance regulation is necessary to prevent “big money” from dominating our elections. In fact, campaign finance laws more often burden true, grassroots political activity, actually giving […]

Filed Under: In the News, Published Articles, State In the News, Colorado

It’s a Wonder World of Campaign Finance Regulation

So, it’s Christmas weekend, and perhaps you need a change of pace from It’s a Wonderful Life and George C. Scott in a Christmas Carol. If so, have we got a treat for you.

This is a panel on the proper role of disclosure in campaign finance, from the Federalist Society National Lawyers Conference in 2010. It features CCP Founder and Chairman Bradley Smith and several more distinguished speakers.

Filed Under: Blog

Raising Contribution Limits Give Candidates a Voice


The Wall Street Journal has an article yesterday detailing a tiff between presidential contenders Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney’s Super PAC.  Or, a tiff with Mitt Romney; Newt isn’t really distinguishing between the two (Wall Street Journal, Gingrich Wants Ads Pulled):

The Super PAC backing presidential candidate Mitt Romney, which has blistered Newt Gingrich in this state, became the center of controversy on Tuesday, when Mr. Gingrich demanded its attack ads be pulled and said Mr. Romney was being “purely dishonest” in his refusal to intervene.  Mr. Romney insisted the television ads were out of his control, and that coordinating with the group backing him would violate campaign-finance laws. “My goodness, if we coordinate in any way, shape or form, we go to the big house,” the former Massachusetts governor said.


Filed Under: Blog, Super PACs

Public Perception and the “Appearance of Corruption” in Campaign Finance

The Center for Competitive Politics in cooperation with University of Missouri Professor Jeff Milyo included several questions in the 2010 Cooperative Congressional Election Study, a national representative survey of 55,400 individuals.  The CCES data includes a set of common content questions given to all participants and separate team content questions developed by the University of Missouri and administered to a nationally representative subset of 1,000 persons.  A battery of eight campaign-finance-related questions was included in the Missouri team content; these are listed in full in the appendix.

We examine this data to learn what the average American thought about taxpayer-funded elections, contribution limits, the appearance of corruption, and disclosure. Since not just corruption, but the “appearance of corruption,” i.e. the public’s perception of the severity of corrupt practices in government bodies, has been given weight by the Supreme Court, we felt it was crucial to look at reliable data of a cross section of Americans and try to gain insight into their views, as well as to see how different wordings can skew the results in surveys on these topics.



Filed Under: Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits, Contributions & Limits, Disclosure, Disclosure, Research, Tax Financed Campaigns Research, Tax-Financing, Taxpayer Financed Campaigns, Disclosure, Faulty Assumptions, Disclosure, Faulty Assumptions, Taxpayer Financed Campaigns

Center for Competitive Politics Files Amicus Brief in DeLay Appeal

Contact: Sarah Lee, Center for Competitive Politics, 703-894-6800,

Allen Dickerson, Legal Director, Center for Competitive Politics,

Benjamin Barr, of counsel, Center for Competitive Politics,


ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Arguing that laws criminalizing First Amendment conduct must at least be clear, the Center for Competitive Politics filed an amicus brief in the Texas Court of Appeals in DeLay v. State.  

For nearly a decade, Tom DeLay and his colleagues have been involved in a legal challenge concerning the constitutionality of the Texas Election Code.  The case centers on a complaint filed by Texans for Public Justice alleging that even though DeLay and his associates complied with relevant provisions of Texas election law, their use of election funds was somehow illegal.  


Filed Under: Press Releases, amicus brief

Amicus Brief in DeLay v. State

Download Amicus Brief

Filed Under: Completed Amicus Briefs, Legal, Legal Center, amicus brief, delay, Amicus Briefs, Completed Cases (Amicus), Amicus Briefs, Completed Cases (Amicus), Texas

Clearing up confusion about American Crossroads and the content standard coordinated expenditures

CCP Chairman – and the man who as FEC Commissioner first introduced “content standards” into the regulations on coordinated and independent expenditures – explains the current kerfuffle on Crossroads America and the Federal Election Commission.

Filed Under: Blog

One Editor’s Response to A Win for Free Speech

The Center often receives interesting responses when we send out press materials regarding our research.  Today’s release was no exception. 

We received a response to this release from the Wayne County Mail saying:

SO were these “JUSTICES” making these decisions right wingers?

What about the right of people to be safe in their homes from their right wing gun nuts making these stupid phone calls.

You are not campaigning for freedom. You are a right wing front group trying to destroy the rights of All Americans for the few idiots.

Please remove us from your mailing list. 


Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog

The Center for Competitive Politics is now the Institute for Free Speech.